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Visian
05-29-2013, 04:38 PM
Just rode home from the US Press Launch for the new R1200GS, LA to ATL in 4 days, with plenty of backroads in between.

As I put together my thoughts for an article in BMW ON, I'd like to begin sharing impressions here, in a more timely fashion.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Other/RandomStuff/i-kdWfTDh/0/XL/JonBeck_R1200GSLC-XL.png

There really are two pieces of news here, the new motor and the new GS. So I am going to break up my comments likewise.

The new motor(cycle)

Hop on the bike and you immediately think that it's much lighter than previous models, even though it's not. Turn the key, wait for the light show to subside, thumb the starter and man, what a sweet sound! It's Ducati-esque... a nasty little bark with just the right edge.

Draw in the delightfully light-pull lever to disengage the new wet clutch and snick it (or clunk it) into first. As you release the lever, the bike moves out right now. The new throttle-by-wire system fuels the bike perfectly... not like the light-switch hyper-sensitive throttle on previous models.

Run it up through the gears, and the shifting is still, um... clunky through 3rd gear. 9 times out of 10 there is a pretty big "blonk" as you shift from Neutral into 1st. But of course, it will get better as the miles pile up. Flicking the bike from side to side reveals the benefits of a full frame... this bike steers with the same super-precision that my HP2 Enduro has. Frame stiffness is way up and it takes just the lightest hint of countersteering to make the bike change directions.

Compare to previous boxers, where it really doesn't make much sense to rev beyond 5k RPM, this motor is just getting going at 5k and pulls strongly to 8. It's redlined at 9k and the song is wonderful. You best be holding on real good.

RT riders are going to love this motor. I fully expect it to do roll-on acceleration uphill, two-up, with luggage. The motor makes power everywhere. As I rode the Angeles Crest Highway toward home, I often found myself in the tight twisties in 5th gear, with no lag in power when rolling on.

The new GS

While the latest model hex and camheads do feature ESA, ASC and ABS, these are relatively new concepts to me, and were ones I am not quite so sure of yet. The ASC's ride modes include Rain (most intrusive at eliminating wheel spin), Normal, Dynamic (allows some spin) and Enduro (allows a lot of spin in dirt). Enduro Pro is optional via a jumper in the fuse panel under the seat. I need to get the bike to my dealer to enable that. More discussion of these features later, as I get used to them.

As a contrarian, I almost never turn off ABS when riding off-pavement, finding that careful and balanced braking makes ABS useful in these riding conditions. The ABS on the new GS makes this even better, and is truly an assist when riding off-pavement.

Some general riding impressions:


Clutch is *awesome* ... a huge improvement when feathering over rough ground. IMO, this is the biggest news in off-road performance. It's that good.
Well, the longer swingarm due to shorter/reconfigured motor is pretty signficant, too.
Well, the high air intake also solves another major weakness of previous models.
Better stability in sand, thanks to wider tires (10mm in front, 20mm in rear)
The throttle-by-wire setup eliminates the lightswitch-like on/off throttle of previous models, which makes it far easier to transit over rough ground.
The footpegs are really too high, and fold your legs quite a bit. And I am only 5'8".
When riding with the balls of your feet on the pegs, my size 9.5 boot rubs on the swingarm.
Air management is very good, but I bet the adjustable windscreen will break on the first significant get-off.
Popular accessories are going to be lighting, peg lowering, radiator guards.
Cruise control is a gift from God. :nod


In closing for now, I feel that BMW looked very close at the Ducati Multistrada in setting this bike's tone. While the bike doesn't have quite the horsepower of the Ducati, it has puh-lenty of power and is much MUCH better off-pavement.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Other/RandomStuff/i-P7n44T2/0/XL/IMG_0744-XL.jpg
Heading toward home on the Angeles Crest Highway. Jeez, the air pollution in LA is bad!

More to come... I look forward to your questions and comments, too.

wvpc
05-29-2013, 07:44 PM
Come on BMWMOA Sweepstakes ticket. :clap

marchyman
05-29-2013, 08:55 PM
Come on BMW, deliver the bike I ordered two months ago. :deal

Pauls1150
05-29-2013, 09:33 PM
Looks like you were there on a "typical" day... On a windy (and therefore clear) day, you can see Catalina Island, but on a "bad" day, you can't even see downtown L.A.

PatrickMJoyce
05-29-2013, 09:36 PM
My '07 R1200GS is wired to my central nervous system. I think, the GS turns. How's the new mount with the wider tires? I think my 6'5" frame would make me look like a jockey with the standard pegs. Thanks for your updates.
pj

ponch1
05-29-2013, 10:29 PM
My '07 R1200GS is wired to my central nervous system. I think, the GS turns. How's the new mount with the wider tires? I think my 6'5" frame would make me look like a jockey with the standard pegs. Thanks for your updates.
pj

It could be he has the seat in the low position. I would recommend looking at cycle-ergo.com first and then sitting on one in a dealer. I am the same height, 34" inseam, so I am curious as well.

hooykaas
05-30-2013, 02:13 PM
Had my LC for about 6 weeks now, am 6'1" and haven't noticed any swing arm rub at the foot pegs myself. I did find there is a buzz over 60 mph in 5 and 6th gear, but this has been completely eliminated since installing a pair of Metal Mules panniers to the bike. Strange why that would be.

The bike came with the new Tourance tires even though I got the wire wheels. These things are way too much like road tires, I wouldn't call them dual sport at all as they are very slippery on anything but asphalt. In checking with Heidenau I have been told that they don't make knobbies just yet for the wider rims, but that the Scouts that fit the former GS (150s) rims, are within the specs for the 170 rims but are not approved by BMW. If you ride gravel, be sure to request the knobbies rather than these when you place the order for the bike.

Over all a huge leap forward from my 1150 GSA. Not sure how well the nuts and bolts will last as I have yet to find any wave washers on the bike, every connection uses blue Loctite.

I fitted my 376 Garmin to the factory accessory bar and plugged it right into the GPS plug using a $15 adapter socket from the dealer. However the fancy thumbwheel control on the left grip becomes just candy as it will only control the newer models.

The new factory tank bag is reputed to be completely waterproof, so I was hesitant to power it up directly from the battery for charging all the other farkels, but with a bit of careful cutting of the ripstop waterproof membrane, I think I have been able to retain the water repellence with the Powerlet tankbag kit. Time will tell.

The windshield adjuster knob should be on the left side rather than the right side of the shield as you have to reach way over to adjust it while on the move. Haven't noticed much of a difference between the shield positions, so I think it is just a gimmick and like Ian says, will be gonzo along with the front turn signals upon the first upset.

I will be getting a set of radiator covers as they are way to vulnerable just grinning out there.

I also removed the rear factory grab handle/luggage carrier as they again were made of plastic and made for show not for overlanding. I am waiting for someone to make up a metal luggage rack that can take the place of the passenger seat. I know that there are several being developed by the usual aftermarket folks, but haven't hit retail yet.

I installed the headlight guard to protect that very $$$ LED headlight setup. It is clear Lexan with a quick disconnect for cleaning off the bugs, nice feature, worth the money for peace of mind.

It is not easy to find any faults with the bike though, it is all in all an amazing piece of kit.

Bill Hooykaas

Visian
05-30-2013, 02:39 PM
My '07 R1200GS is wired to my central nervous system. I think, the GS turns. How's the new mount with the wider tires? I think my 6'5" frame would make me look like a jockey with the standard pegs. Thanks for your updates.
pj

Hey Patrick - this thing is even more wired to your central nervous system, especially during multiple direction changes, such as tight twisties and/or flicking the bike from side to side. It honestly feels like a crotch rocket with wide bars.

I believe this is due to the stiffness of the frame, which has tubing that connects front and rear sections. This thing feels exactly like my HP2e, which has a full frame, too.

Regarding the pegs, the seat has less adjustability than my 1150... I don't own an R1200, so not sure how this compares. On the wet head, the front of the seat mounts in only one position, and there are two positions on the rear. I had mine in the upper position and still felt cramped. Made it difficult to transition to a standing position... hard on the ol' knees, ya know? :gerg

One other note about the footpegs... they are attached on each side to a cast piece of metal welded directly to the frame. Break something like this and I bet the bike is totaled. The centerstand is also attached to this metal casting, so it must be fairly strong.

Ian

marchyman
05-30-2013, 08:00 PM
On the wet head, the front of the seat mounts in only one position, and there are two positions on the rear.

Not so. The front seat mount snaps off and turns over. One side is "H" and the other side is "L".

40323

Visian
05-30-2013, 09:34 PM
Guess I should say that I didn't get a manual with the bike? :blush

I'll have to try this, even if it's even harder to reach the ground for me.

And while I am thinking of it, this bike seems to have less room for a passenger... is it my imagination? One thing I've loved about the GS is its roominess.

hooykaas
05-30-2013, 09:46 PM
ian, is this a loaner or yours now?

Bill

marchyman
05-30-2013, 10:34 PM
Dunno about the passenger. I don't have the bike yet. BMW says it is in production and I have a VIN, so that's something. :)

During my test ride I noticed my knees were bent slightly more than on my '05, but I had lower pegs on the '05. I'll probably be mounting the BMW enduro pegs on the new GS with those pegs in the lowest position. Assuming I can get over the shock of the cost.

Omega Man
05-30-2013, 11:07 PM
ian, is this a loaner or yours now?

Bill
"possession is 9/10ths of the law" :thumb While I haven't ridden one, there is something about them that I like visually. Kinda scared or I should say my wallet is kinda scared to go test drive one :burnout
OM

Visian
05-30-2013, 11:25 PM
During my test ride I noticed my knees were bent slightly more than on my '05, but I had lower pegs on the '05. I'll probably be mounting the BMW enduro pegs on the new GS with those pegs in the lowest position. Assuming I can get over the shock of the cost.

It needs the wider pegs, too. This was one of the reasons I was riding with the balls of my feet... After a while, the pegs start hurting your arches. And definitely annoying during long periods of standing. The other reason is that once I get into top gear on the highway, or into the gear I want while standing, I like to move my feet around and ride a lot on the balls of my feet. Unless you're pigeon-toed or have really small feet, your heel will hit the drive shaft housing when placing the balls of your feet on the pegs. Not bad, but enough to leave a mark. Ymmv.

This reminds me of another feature. You have to dip and twist your right toe inward to actuate the rear brake, just as with older models that have the rear intake. And the brake lever is pretty low, and doesn't appear to be widely adjustable. Several of the other press members were asking for it to be raised. My HP2 has a little flip-down adapter... This would be perfect to fix the situation on the GS.

Visian
05-31-2013, 12:30 AM
Great video by Jimmy Lewis.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SkDPMLxAZP0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


This brings up two other thoughts from my initial impressions. In addition to having very precise steering, the steering is also phenomenally light. Of course the wide bars help in this respect, and the new GS has the same Renthal-like Fat bars as my HP2.

And watching Jimmy ride also reminds me that the standing position is much improved, the bars fall right into hand with no risers needed, it's easy to assume that lean-forward posture, and very comfortable to grip with your knees. This all may vary with different sized riders.

Bud
06-02-2013, 12:51 AM
thanks Ian!

Visian
06-02-2013, 03:02 PM
Not being overly familiar with other BMW cruise control (I did have one on my 04 K12RS), cruise control adds a great deal to the GS's pavement pounding capabilities.

The throttle lock on my 1150 is convenient for those every-so-often itch-and-scratch moments, but one really needs all the functions, such as accel/decel and speed control on roads that are not level. The only glitch in an otherwise perfect solution is the ability to smoothly transition from cruise to manual throttle.

There are four ways to do this:


Apply front or rear brakes
Roll off throttle
Pull in clutch
Switch off the system



... and most of them result in a "bwwwuuuuuhhhhhhhhh" sound from the motor as compression braking occurs because the throttle doesn't pick up. If you have a passenger, their helmet clunks yours (not actually tested yet, but I bet).

Of all your options, snapping in the clutch and switching the system off provide the smoothest transitions. Careful throttle management helps. Clearly this will take some practice. (Of course you can click back the set speed lever and decelerate smoothly...)

But I ain't complaining! :thumb For years the GS has needed cruise control to complement its great highway capabilities, and it really helps when you need to knock out those 8-900 mile or more days.

Visian
06-02-2013, 03:14 PM
Comments here are for sand, haven't gotten a chance to test in mud yet, but with the tires on this bike, I can assure you it will be mud-challenged. Watch this space for a test of the new Metzeler Karoo 3 at the rally in July.

In sand, while knobbies definitely help, you can make effective progress even with street-biased tires.

The wider tire widths of the bike make a noticeable effect. The front wheel still plows, but not quite so quickly, and if you're comfortable with using throttle to drift the front wheel, it will regain its direction without much drama.

This is also a good time to talk about the Enduro setting on the stability control system. It allows for a fair amount of rear wheel slippage before adjusting power output, and the ABS has become a great rider aid in braking downhill on sand or loose rocks. It still helps to balance the use of both front and rear brakes.

There is an Enduro Pro mode available, it's enabled via an electronic jumper (no, not that kind of jumping) but I have to go to the dealer so they can show me how actuate it. fwiw, I prefer the clutch for controlling rear tire traction, and I would imagine the Enduro Pro mode supports that.


The bike should be very interesting to ride with a set of enduro tires and the Enduro Pro mode. What I've seen of the ESA in off-pavement riding tells me that performance should be significantly superior compared to previous models.

ponch1
06-02-2013, 03:31 PM
Not being overly familiar with other BMW cruise control (I did have one on my 04 K12RS), cruise control adds a great deal to the GS's pavement pounding capabilities.

The throttle lock on my 1150 is convenient for those every-so-often itch-and-scratch moments, but one really needs all the functions, such as accel/decel and speed control on roads that are not level. The only glitch in an otherwise perfect solution is the ability to smoothly transition from cruise to manual throttle.

There are four ways to do this:


Apply front or rear brakes
Roll off throttle
Pull in clutch
Switch off the system



... and most of them result in a "bwwwuuuuuhhhhhhhhh" sound from the motor as compression braking occurs because the throttle doesn't pick up. If you have a passenger, their helmet clunks yours (not actually tested yet, but I bet).

Of all your options, snapping in the clutch and switching the system off provide the smoothest transitions. Careful throttle management helps. Clearly this will take some practice. (Of course you can click back the set speed lever and decelerate smoothly...)

But I ain't complaining! :thumb For years the GS has needed cruise control to complement its great highway capabilities, and it really helps when you need to knock out those 8-900 mile or more days.

I just tap the clutch lever. No need to pull it in.

Visian
06-02-2013, 03:36 PM
I just tap the clutch lever. No need to pull it in.

I discovered this somewhere in Louisiana, but it only works about 2 times out of 5 for me, ... so, this no doubt takes some practice.

ponch1
06-02-2013, 03:53 PM
I discovered this somewhere in Louisiana, but it only works about 2 times out of 5 for me, ... so, this no doubt takes some practice.

May be I tap harder. :)

Visian
06-02-2013, 04:21 PM
The tap is certainly not like the whisper you do on the brakes in a car...

What I was experiencing was tapping not quite hard enough... again a little harder... again a little harder and bwuhhhhhhhh.... too hard.

So I started rolling the throttle the most teeniest of bits while tapping the lever and that seems to work, about 2 out of five times. Need practice! :nod

Mind you that I am looking for a near seamless transition.

ponch1
06-02-2013, 05:19 PM
The tap is certainly not like the whisper you do on the brakes in a car...

What I was experiencing was tapping not quite hard enough... again a little harder... again a little harder and bwuhhhhhhhh.... too hard.

So I started rolling the throttle the most teeniest of bits while tapping the lever and that seems to work, about 2 out of five times. Need practice! :nod

Mind you that I am looking for a near seamless transition.

I guess the RT is different or may be it's just me. :):)

Visian
06-02-2013, 05:27 PM
It would be interesting to try side-by-side. I don't know if it's the throttle-by-wire or me. Most likely me. :ha

hungstart
06-02-2013, 06:27 PM
With cruise control engaged roll the throttle on until you feel some resistance or you feel a slight increase in throttle, that is where the throttle resolver is set at. Pull the clutch lever in slowly until you find where the clutch switch disengages the cruise control, walla, smooth transition. Now that you have learned how much movement it takes for the clutch lever you can move it quicker the next time.

RINTY
06-02-2013, 06:47 PM
Thanks for this, Ian. Riding a new BMW on the Angeles Crest would be my definition of having a good time.:thumb


Had my LC for about 6 weeks now...Hooykaas

And you immediately had me Googling. Ah: "liquid cooled". :D

marchyman
06-02-2013, 07:26 PM
With cruise control engaged roll the throttle on until you feel some resistance or you feel a slight increase in throttle, that is where the throttle resolver is set at. Pull the clutch lever in slowly until you find where the clutch switch disengages the cruise control, walla, smooth transition. Now that you have learned how much movement it takes for the clutch lever you can move it quicker the next time.

The GS is throttle by wire. There is no resistance to feel. At least there wasn't on the test bike I rode. It was nothing at all like the cruise control on the K11LT which was my only other experience with BMW cruise control.

As for the enduro pro plug... Page 58 of the riders manual (available here (http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/index.html?content=http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/services/manuals/manuals_main.html&notrack=1)) makes it look like this is a simple thing for the user to install. Remove it from its "holder" under the saddle and plug it it. :dunno

Visian
06-02-2013, 07:29 PM
I just got the manual from the press people... I did find what was clearly a jumper under the seat, and I'll bet the manual shows you where to connect it. Gotta run now, working with some Asheville BMW Riders on day rides for the Adventure RAid. (http://www.advraid.com)

hungstart
06-02-2013, 07:47 PM
If you look under the seat where the jumper is...right under where the jumper is on the seat my bike has the receptacle with a cover over it in a clip.

kencc
06-03-2013, 07:25 PM
Come on BMW, deliver the bike I ordered two months ago. :deal

I ordered mine 2 months ago also . Just got word it is going on the boat June 4 arriving the 17 in NJ.Hopefully get it soon after.

marchyman
06-03-2013, 08:32 PM
As of last Thursday the bike I ordered was "Production Started". I do have a VIN and prod no, which is some kind of progress.

kencc
06-04-2013, 12:08 PM
As of last Thursday the bike I ordered was "Production Started". I do have a VIN and prod no, which is some kind of progress.

Check again may be on the same boat supposedly leaving today.

Visian
06-04-2013, 12:43 PM
One bummer with the new bike is that most saddlebags/boxes designed for older models will not transfer to the new, as the exhaust pipe is now on the right side.

The bike I've got has the stock bags, good for paved riding, not-so-great for lots of bumps and dirt. Plus, they don't hold much.

So, a set of Jesse boxes (http://jesseluggage.com/r1200gsWater.html) is on order... I've always been please with Al Jesse's design (much sturdier than competing alternatives) and have run them on all my GS, back to the R80 G/SPD+.

http://jesseluggage.com/images/10OdysseyII-1200Water.jpg

But for long-mileage adventure travel and camping, I like to add tank panniers and a tank bag to carry more stuff while also balancing the weight of all the luggage mounted to the rear.

For very long trips, my Mountain Sun Sherpa Tank Panniers (http://shop.mountainsuntouring.com/Sherpa-28-Litre-Tank-Panniers-Pair-MST-S28L.htm) are indispensable. They allow for heavy, rarely used items like tools and spares to be packed close to the bike's center of mass. And they hold a lot of stuff! I just got a new Big Agnes Big House 4 tent (https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Tent/BigHouse4), my first ever tent that I can stand up in. But it's *big*... and just happens to fit in the Mountain Sun panniers.

http://www.mountainsuntouring.com/images/tankpannier.jpg

The good news is that these panniers fit nicely on the new wethead, as do my trusty old Aerostich Competition-sized Tank panniers, which are used on shorter camping trips. I haven't ridden with either yet, just checked fit... but it appears there will be no issue with the hot air coming off the radiators.

And... my Giant Loop Diablo tank bag (http://www.giantloopmoto.com/products/diablo-tank-bag) also fits nicely on top of the tank, which is rather steeply sloped.

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0017/7152/products/DTB-B-side_large.jpg?190

Did anyone try the BMW tank bag? I like a smaller bag than they usually provide, and there were no samples of this at the press launch.

marchyman
06-05-2013, 02:32 AM
For very long trips, my Mountain Sun Sherpa Tank Panniers (http://shop.mountainsuntouring.com/Sherpa-28-Litre-Tank-Panniers-Pair-MST-S28L.htm) are indispensable.

...

The good news is that these panniers fit nicely on the new wethead...


Excellent news. :thumb Fitting my Mt Sun on the new GS was a minor worry; I have a hard time picturing how they'll sit. The worry is slightly exacerbated by the front strap modifications I made to get a better fit on the '05 GS. Nothing that can't be worked around, though.



Did anyone try the BMW tank bag? I like a smaller bag than they usually provide, and there were no samples of this at the press launch.

There are TWO different sizes. I looked at the small version of the bag on the shelf at the dealer. I have not seen it on the bike. There was nothing special about the bag one way or the other. None of the tank bags appeal to me. So this time around I'm going to give the Wunderlich handlebar bag a try. They say it will fit the wethead. I'll find out. If not then someone will get a good deal.

ka5ysy
06-05-2013, 11:37 AM
I got a chance to ride the demo GSW at my dealer last week when the RT was in the shop for a service interval. Wow, what an amazing bike !.

I put about 150 miles on running around in the heat as I was curious about the heat management of the bike. The radiator fan on the right side really dumps out a lot of heat when you are sitting still ! For several stops I was having HD nightmares (this was in 90 degree actual temp at the time).

Anyway, as noted above, the bike is an absolute hoot to ride. It is very light, and has light, quick steering. That engine ? Wow. Power all over the place, and the first thing I noticed running up I10 into Baton Rouge is that in 6th gear, you can roll on the power hard and the bike will pull hard. No need to downshift to pull a pass above 50 mph. Engine exhaust sound is an amazing growl when you hit the throttle. Not much excuse for an aftermarket can now. This is a great scooter to run around town on because it is so maneuverable. I ran into my driveway and started doing full-lock turns inside the 20 foot width quite easily.
Several neighbors were watching and had a very puzzled look on their faces while I was riding around in circles laughing loudly :clap

The wet clutch makes slow speed activity absolutely a joy and you can walk the bike along at almost no speed for extended periods without the burning clutch odor we are all familiar with.

The cruise control works just like my RT, and is outstanding for running any distance and saving "throttle claw". For some reason this bike did not have all the electronic goodies, so no comment on anything other than the ABS, which works nicely when you hit its operating parameters.

An interesting thing happened when I picked up the RT in the afternoon: When I mounted the RT and pulled the bike off the side stand, I instantly had the thought "Geez... why is this thing so heavy ?" I had adjusted my pickup inputs for the light weight of the GS. The RT, which I find very easy to pick up anyway, seemed very, very heavy until I adjusted back to its characteristics.

Would I buy the bike ? Yep. The windscreen needs aftermarket, but the seat actually seemed to be acceptable. It is not the bike the RT is, but for its intended use it is definitely a winner. I cannot wait to see what the new RT will be with the waterhead engine. I just bought my sweepstakes ticket ! :D

hooykaas
06-05-2013, 04:23 PM
I may be able to add a bit more insight now that I have driven in some heavy rain.

I got the new design BMW tank bag for my GS 6 weeks ago and powered it up with the Powerlet tank bag kit. I hated to cut into the waterproof membrane, but it actually went very well because the membrane is of a ripstop material that allows you to make a very small slit to bass the connection through. That way I can connect stuff directly to my battery such as my Gerbings and keep all my electronics charged up. I had a chance to test it in a significant torrential downpour last week for 4 hours and it stayed completely dry. Although the large plastic map pouch did get lots of condensation in it, so maps would have been destroyed. the internal compartments stayed bone dry though. The size is big enough for my iPad and case so for me I would give it a 9 out of ten. The only shortcoming I see is that the mounting straps seem to looses up a wee bit when lifting the bag to fill the tank, not a big deal as you just pull on the strap to tighten, easy.

I also got the small tail bag from BMW and it also stays completely waterproof so far, it fit easily onto the rear carrier and fits tightly. My bike is the white color so the coloring of the bag compliments very well.

I have had Jesse bags on previous GSs and found that they aways allowed some moisture to penetrate at the top lid and found them too floppy at the lower rear corners because they never have a rear cross bar like most other bags do. This eventually caused failure at the upper mounting points over time and rough roads. This time I installed Metal Mules bags from the UK. I am using their 38 liter bags, the same on each side and find I did not need to use a cut out or smaller bag on the muffler side to accommodate the muffler. Both bags are balanced and are exactly as wide as my handlebars, perfect for getting through traffic. I have a thread on how I mounted them over on the ADVRider GSSpot forum. IMHO, these bags are one notch up from the Jesse which, up until I got these, were what I thought were the best bags. Now there is a new king of the hill in panniers, and they are made in the UK. I had to fabricate connections for the bike myself but this allowed me to accommodate my 2" ABS pipe tent pole and tool tubes within the racks, now my tent can fit inside my bags and the poles outside in the tubes.

I was going to put my Rotopax water and gas jugs on the panniers as I had done with my TT Zegas, but the Metal Mules allow them to be placed inside the panniers and keep things nice and uncluttered and tight. Of course the gas can would be in the left side bag with the camping gear away from the muffler, while the water jug will be on the right with my clothes which are in a Kriega inner bag.

My alarm for the bike was back ordered and got installed last week when it came in. There is no remote control for it like in earlier models, that is really the only difference I have noticed. The thing turns on after 30 seconds and will activate the signals and horn or buzzer if the bike is touched, a non-authorized key is inserted or the battery is disconnected. I also got a 15% discount on insurance for having it, so after 5 years it should pay for itself. Why get an alarm on a BMW that is rarely stolen? Because when in my experience when away from the bike people and kids like to fiddle with it, just out of curiosity. This way I can leave my tank bag on the bike and not have to worry so much. This is particularly true in third world countries where you may have to leave your bike on the street at night. Everyone wants to take pictures sitting on it when no one is around. This should keep them at bay.

I also installed the OEM crash guards, they are well made stainless and offer ample protection to the valve covers, but with the TB now on top of the head I can no longer stretch my legs out across the engine and crash bars like I could on my 1150GS. The neat thing is that the TT bar uppers will fit these lowers exactly and then offer rad protection like the 1200 GSA does, will need to get these. Speaking of rad protection, the rad intakes are bug scoops, mine are covered with bugs after 1800 km and I will need to get rad covers from TT or Wunderlich soon because where bugs can reach so can stones.

Has anyone come across anyone making a USB charger that fits into the BMW (DIN?) connection on the dash for power? I checked with Powerlet in Detroit and they are working on a double one but it wont be out until late this summer. They already have them for cigarette lighter (SAE?) connection, but strangely not yet for European connections.

Lastly, the hand guards on this bike are just too narrow, they don't deflect enough rain away from the gloves. I will get a set of extenders from TT or Wunderlich like I had on my prior GSs, they work really well in keeping the gloves dry for an extra 10 minutes.

I always ride solo and toss the passenger seat, however when I do this on this bike there is no real shelf to carry stuff on. BMW makes one out of aluminum but I have had one on B/O for 4 months now and there is still no stock showing in Germany. Apparently Jeremy at Altrider if making up one for that purpose that will also allow Rotopax mounting. I will get one instead when he comes up with a final design in the near future. In the meantime I have removed the plastic grab handle surrounding the seat as it is just in the way when packing the bike for solo long distance riding.

Emoto
06-07-2013, 11:00 AM
Would love to see pics!

Visian
06-07-2013, 08:31 PM
Would love to see pics!

Here's one... more are in process....

http://visian.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/R1200GSWBMWON/i-8wJqSzP/0/O/NA1_5231-X2.jpg

Visian
06-07-2013, 08:59 PM
Hooray... BMW has finally figured out that consistently-sized fasteners of the same type (e.g. torx vs allen) make life much easier when doing simple maintenance.

Interestingly, on the R12GSW, it's now easy to get to the battery and hard(ish) to get at the air filter... the exact reverse of my 1150GS.

The battery takes under 30 seconds to get at, and most of that time is spent opening your tools and finding the write torx tool. And there's even a small post for accessing the positive terminal (which is located inboard, relative to ground) so that jump starting is a cinch. Big auto jumper cable connectors are probably not going to fit in there, though.

The air box/filter is a bit more fussy... 5 screws to remove the center panel on top of the fuel tank, and another 4 to remove the air box cover. At least the same torx tool can be used. With the forward facing air intakes, I see a future with many bugs sitting on top of the air filter, so perhaps some foam filter inserts are in order. I use these on my 1150 and HP2.

For garage work, a set of t-handle torx drivers with long reach look to be a good investment. Might even get some for the road tool kit, since they're so much easier to work with than what comes in the stock tool kit.

Oil filter change is a snap, since it is side mounted. You don't even have to remove the skid plate.

However, you do need to remove the skid plate to drain the oil, but a judiciously drilled hole would fix that. The plate is held on with five bolts of the same size... what a concept! (I do see the need for an aftermarket skidplate if your riding demands something fairly sturdy. The mounting could use a little beef-up, too).

Of course, BMW doesn't actually tell you how to drain the oil from the bike... great. Can't wait for a Haynes manual. Has anyone seen work of a factory shop manual?

marchyman
06-08-2013, 12:23 AM
For garage work, a set of t-handle torx drivers with long reach look to be a good investment. Might even get some for the road tool kit, since they're so much easier to work with than what comes in the stock tool kit.

Instead of T-handle torx for your on the road kit try this: A sliding T, a 6" extension (I prefer the wobble type), and a bunch of torx bits. To complete the set: a palm ratchet.

http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/MOA/i-shJnPfD/0/O/p-131581717-3474.jpg

Works equally well with hex and allen bits.

Visian
06-08-2013, 02:31 PM
Hey... very nice. :thumb

And the wobble type will probably be a big help in getting the bolt that holds both the front of the tank to the frame and the center tank panel. It's a very tight fit in there.

My tool kit currently works across 3 bikes, the airhead G/SPD, the R1150GS and the HP2e. The pain with the HP2e is that you need a couple of torx sockets in addition to the bits. Your setup above looks very useful for that.

RINTY
06-08-2013, 03:07 PM
It's apparent to me that everyone who rides this new bike is really taken by it. So, how much smoother is it than a non OHC Hexhead? :evil

osbornk
06-09-2013, 02:54 PM
I have a friend who has ridden a GS for many years. He currently has a 2010. He is going to Europe in a week or so and will ride the new GS about 3,000 miles while there. If the new bike is as good as described, he will have a very nice black GS for sale when he gets back.

Visian
06-11-2013, 12:11 AM
It's apparent to me that everyone who rides this new bike is really taken by it. So, how much smoother is it than a non OHC Hexhead? :evil

Rinty - it's not so much the smoothness as it is the increased power and its characteristics. It is smoother, overall, though.

The motor revs much more quickly, and there's power everywhere, in every gear. (It does protest slightly with a thrum-thrum-thrum vibration through the footpegs when asked to pull hard under 3k rpm) While the old motors pretty much check out after 5k rpm, the new motor is just getting going. You get a nice strong surge of power up to over 7k rpm and it's redlined at 9.

And yet you can be trolling along in 6th at 70-ish and get strong acceleration upon roll-on. In just seconds you're over the ton.

This bike is very similar to my HP2e, which has the blueprinted motor and weighs 425lbs. The new GS has serious power, you'd best be holding on when you twist the loud handle (which, btw, is a very racy quarter-turn throttle).

I can't wait to try this bike with a full load of gear.

RINTY
06-12-2013, 12:11 AM
Thanks for that, Ian.

Didn't know the HP2e had a blueprinted engine. This is Dave Anderson's (Anderwerks BMW) HP2e supermotard conversion, which he let me take to the Kootenays summer before last. It's a lot of fun:

http://rinty.smugmug.com/Other/Jack-2011/i-7m3GRGS/0/L/P1010317-L.jpg

He's got a set of dirt wheels / tires for it too.

Visian
06-12-2013, 07:01 PM
Thanks for that, Ian.

Didn't know the HP2e had a blueprinted engine. This is Dave Anderson's (Anderwerks BMW) HP2e supermotard conversion, which he let me take to the Kootenays summer before last. It's a lot of fun:

http://rinty.smugmug.com/Other/Jack-2011/i-7m3GRGS/0/L/P1010317-L.jpg

He's got a set of dirt wheels / tires for it too.

I've got three sets of wheels for mine.... but no SuMo! :ha

If you remember what your ride was like on his bike, then you'll have a sense of what the wethead is like, especially in the Dynamic mode....

Dynamic, my ass. More like Diabolical. :evil

Bud
06-13-2013, 12:46 AM
What ever you do, don't try to keep up with Ian when he is riding that HP2. Went for a quiet ride looking for Q once and after the first two turns, didn't see him again till he cooled his heals for 15 minutes waiting for us.:brow

Visian
06-13-2013, 02:46 PM
Excellent news. :thumb Fitting my Mt Sun on the new GS was a minor worry; I have a hard time picturing how they'll sit. The worry is slightly exacerbated by the front strap modifications I made to get a better fit on the '05 GS. Nothing that can't be worked around, though.

I don't mount my Mountain Sun panniers overly tight. The front strap goes behind the coolant hoses and under the Telever. The rear are looped loosely on the frame, behind the rear frame triangulation. Still working to perfect this, as there isn't enough space between frame and bodywork where you'd like to attach the rear straps.

It's quite a reach over the tank with the straps, but you can get the panniers to sit low enough so that the bar ends don't hit it at full lock and the panniers aren't sitting on the jugs.





None of the tank bags appeal to me. So this time around I'm going to give the Wunderlich handlebar bag a try. They say it will fit the wethead. I'll find out. If not then someone will get a good deal.

I don't like any tank bag... but on long trips, a small one is ok. The bars on this bike are the same as on my HP2e, like Renthal Fat Tapers, so that Wunderlich bag (which I have on my HP) will work fine.

Ian

ps => one thing I am seriously considering is to buy a set of clutch and brake reservoirs for the wethead and put them on my HP2 to get rid of those crappy little plastic cups. The new reservoirs are SWEET

Visian
07-08-2013, 08:33 PM
... now that The GS Giant's Scorebooks are all done and sent.

Packing the bike for Oregon, I find that my Mountain Sun Tank Panniers fit well. They allow enough airflow off the radiators, and don't get too hot. The straps over the tank need to be extended to nearly their full length, same with the strap around the front. I am still working out how the rear straps will work.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2013BMWR1200GS/i-365hQBR/0/L/Clay_ADVRAid_11-L.jpg

http://visian.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2013BMWR1200GS/i-BVwX4wN/0/L/Clay_ADVRAid_12-L.jpg


Also put a set of Jesse Odyssey Boxes, and they fit well. Here is a size comparo, with the stock bags extended out vs. the Jesses.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2013BMWR1200GS/i-kfghMcv/0/L/Clay_ADVRAid_1-L.jpg

http://visian.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/2013BMWR1200GS/i-k7rCgNW/0/L/Clay_ADVRAid_1-L.jpg

The mounts on these boxes are more visible than past approaches, not too objectionable, but given that I only use the boxes when they're needed, the appearance of the bike without the bags is important to me.

Jesse boxes just keep getting better and better, these things are built like Halliburton luggage. But the 13 year-old, 110K mile set I have on my 1150 are not far off, considering how much rough use they've seen.

The stockers hold 68 liters total when in the extended position, the Jesses hold 105 liters, according to both companies' specifications.


Put the bike on my Craftsman motorcycle floor jack so that I could take both wheels off at one time to have tires mounted. Fits very securely, one jack foot supports the bike at the rear of the skid plate, the other is on the centerstand, just behind where it mounts to the frame.

The rear Tourance Next had a pretty evident flat spot at 3,300 miles, the front was still good, but probably not up to criss-crossing the continent. In the rear tire's defense, it did see a lot of straight-line high-speed and the, uh, traction control did kick in every now and then. :evil

I hope you like my article, it comes out next month... and I hope to post some nice pics from the ride home from Salem.

Ian

billy walker
07-08-2013, 10:19 PM
I love the Jesse bags!! Good stuff!!

I checked out Anderworks and I keep arriving at this conclusion: small shops are great! I don't really care what they charge as long as they are knowledgable and caring and provide quality service. These various qualities just seem to be getting harder and harder to find in our never ending world of how cheap can I buy it?

Visian
07-08-2013, 11:26 PM
I love the Jesse bags!! Good stuff!!

I checked out Anderworks and I keep arriving at this conclusion: small shops are great! I don't really care what they charge as long as they are knowledgable and caring and provide quality service. These various qualities just seem to be getting harder and harder to find in our never ending world of how cheap can I buy it?

Boy howdy do you ever have that right.

I rode with Mr. Anderworks through Hells Canyon to the rally in Redmond 2001. Great guy, awesome bike tuner, and his bike won the bike show that year (not that I am into clean GSs, mind you).

From this page... back in the day (http://web.archive.org/web/20010822024318/http://www.bmwmoa.org/rally2001/rallyDay2_1.htm)

RINTY
07-10-2013, 03:46 AM
Boy howdy do you ever have that right.

I rode with Mr. Anderworks through Hells Canyon to the rally in Redmond 2001. Great guy, awesome bike tuner, and his bike won the bike show that year (not that I am into clean GSs, mind you).


And here's Mr. Dave with his other creation (here in clean Supermotard trim):

http://rinty.smugmug.com/Other/Wateron-2010/i-XqDhBdj/0/L/Waterton%20trip%202010%20028-L.jpg

Visian
07-30-2013, 04:50 PM
I just heard from friends that the August issue of BMW ON has arrived, so I better pipe up!

My riding since last posting includes:


3-day, 2700 mile ride to Oregon from Atlanta
The Aufderhide Byway
Exploration of Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area
An adventure ride along the western slope of Mt. Hood
The Blue Mountain Byway in Eastern OR
A ride out to Hat Point in Hells Canyon
Riding the Lolo Motorway



... and some putting around in northwest Montana. I am waiting for a new rear tire because with 4,700 miles, the Metzeler Tourance Next I have isn't going to make it back to Atlanta. Tires are hard to find for this bike... thank goodness I have a place to stay for free while I wait for the tire to make its way to me.

Observations

This motorcycle is a highway destroyer... it eats miles and spits them out in its wake. 900 mile days are no big drama, and the cruise control is heaven. I've finally mastered releasing the cruise without a big, unsettling change in speed.

The transmission is breaking in, as expected. There are still more than a couple of notch shifts, but the bike goes into first gear nicely in most instances now. Whatever you do, don't try to put it into first while coasting to a stop. Big grinch, every time. Shifting up from first to second is usually very quiet, and the shift from second to third is improving.

The ESA is great at adjusting to my too-heavy load. I'm carrying about 40 pounds of camera and computer gear in addition to a 4-person tent (the first tent I've ever had that I can stand up in). When loaded, I use the two-up setting. According to the manual, the two-helmet icon means two-up with luggage. I also choose the Hard setting. On pavement the bike handles without wallowing, and can pound down some pretty rough stuff without bottoming. But man, all this weight really restricts your options off-pavement.

The traction control and ABS are excellent off-pavement assists. I was really skeptical about this, and now I am a believer. As one who usually left ABS on when riding my personal bikes off-pavement, I knew that it can be useful when combined with careful, balanced F/R braking. But the ASC/ABS on the wethead is much more effective. You can crank on the gas without worrying about too much wheelspin, and can apply the brakes *hard* on gravel and come to a very short stop.

The kill switch is in a not-so-good place. When riding with a tank bag it is not hard to shut the motor down during a full-lock, hard right turn. I wish they'd left it where it was, on top of the handlebar control switch.

Off-pavement, you really notice the longer swingarm. The rear wheel follows the ground much more evenly than my 1150, with much less fore/aft pitching while riding over large-ish rocks and ledges. I *really* wish I could get a set of knobby tires for this bike for serious off-road testing.

Tires for this bike are currently hard to find. Tires from the manufacturers are really taking their time flowing into the distribution channel. In my article I promised that I'd have a review of the new Metzeler Karoo IIIs, however, they are simply not available yet in sizes that fit this bike.

The Jesse boxes rock! The mounts are very strong, I've only had a couple of low-speed tip-overs, but no tweaking at all. They hold a lot, they haven't leaked, and they are unobtrusive while mounting, dismounting or riding the bike.

.

Visian
07-30-2013, 06:25 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-MC7kPtg/0/XL/IMG_2714-XL.jpg

Visian
07-30-2013, 06:34 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-MbMhWGb/0/XL/IMG_3905-XL.jpg

Visian
07-30-2013, 07:00 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-wSXGfqf/0/XL/IMG_3875-XL.jpg

Visian
07-30-2013, 07:15 PM
If you prefer having your dealer do your scheduled maintenance, you better sit down.

The *minor* 6k service, which is essentially an oil change and a diagnostics check, cost $250. The dealer I used did change the brake fluid front and rear for an extra $70 (not sure why, as the fluid was reasonably clear and the bike is far less than a year old) and did a check via the diagnostics computer. But no valve check, and therefore, no adjustment at this point.

Honestly, I was shocked. But I guess it is what it is, especially if you'd like that little "Service Due" indicator on the dash to go out. :)

The oil cost $16 per quart, which is pretty unbelievable, with premium oil for bikes with wet clutches selling for a fraction of that price. The total cost of oil change was $113.

The oil filter was $17, which is high, but tolerable.

The brake fluid change cost $70, and I was charged $4.50 twice for brake fluid (once each for front and rear).

The "BMW Service" was $140, which is what's involved with hooking up the computer.

The only other thing done was to top off the coolant, which made no difference in the temperature that the bike runs at.

I typically do my own oil changes, and the good news is that the filter wrenches and spark plug cap pullers for oil/hex/camheads fit the new bike, so the only thing I'd have to live with is the service light staying on. I don't have a GS911, so I don't know if this will turn off the light.

I try to be very supportive of BMW dealers, and clearly understand that they must make a profit in order to stay in business.

But these kinds of markups on things like oil make me say "c'mon Beemer Boneyard!" :ha

marchyman
07-30-2013, 08:13 PM
... I've finally mastered releasing the cruise without a big, unsettling change in speed.


And your secret is? I have not yet mastered that skill.


If you prefer having your dealer do your scheduled maintenance, you better sit down.

The oil cost $16 per quart, which is pretty unbelievable, with premium oil for bikes with wet clutches selling for a fraction of that price. The total cost of oil change was $113.

[snip]
I typically do my own oil changes, and the good news is that the filter wrenches and spark plug cap pullers for oil/hex/camheads fit the new bike, so the only thing I'd have to live with is the service light staying on. I don't have a GS911, so I don't know if this will turn off the light.



Ouch... I think I paid $8/quart for a six-pack of the recommended oil. Lets see... yep: http://www.amazon.com/Castrol-06410-Power-4-Stroke-Motorcycle/dp/B008MISDII/ref=pd_sim_sbs_auto_1

The current GS-911 does not work with the wethead. A new GS-911 is in the works. I'm waiting impatiently with money in hand for the new device to be released. I'm guessing it will be expensive. It apparently includes built in wi-fi and a simple web server so you can connect to it using any device with a browser... phone, tablet, laptop, whatever. At least it looks that way on a teaser video released by the manufacturer.

Omega Man
07-30-2013, 08:21 PM
The oil cost $16 per quart, which is pretty unbelievable........
Glad you are enjoying and having good luck with the bike Ian. On a side note, I just paid $16.00 per quart for Royal Purple 10w-30 synthetic that I use in a 14 HP Kawasaki pull start engine. I guess that is what it goes for and for what I'm doing- it's worth it.
OM

Visian
07-30-2013, 09:21 PM
And your secret is? I have not yet mastered that skill.


Pull in on the clutch slowly/gently/slightly while rolling on the throttle slowly/gently/slightly. When it doesn't work transparently, it's better than using the brakes or rolling off the throttle.

The only way I can get it perfect every time is to snap in the clutch and then let it out while matching engine revs to road speed. Or, just clicking the cruise off, which loses the speed that you set.

Ian

hooykaas
07-31-2013, 02:41 PM
Just got back from my trans-continental ride on the new bike from the east coast to the Lunatic Fringe Rally in Alberta, the Gypsy Tour out of Leavenworth down to Salem and then down the PCH/Continental Divide to the Mexico border then through the scorching heat of Arizona back to Ontario. These are my observations:

The Tourance Next rear lasted me 18,000 km until I was forced to swap it out with my old used Shinko 150 rear that I had been carrying along with me as I new the proper NEXT was unobtainium at present. I replaced the rear at No-Mar in St Louis and find that the narrower dimension rear off my old 1150 GSA will fit and work on the bike properly and falls within spec tolerances for the wider rim. The traction, ABS, and Dynamic ESA appear to be unaffected. There is no slip or other adverse reaction from riding with the narrower tire. The only issue may be that the rim itself is ever so close to the width of the tire is elf as opposed to 20 mm within the widest part of the tire with the 170 NEXT, leading to the possibility of a rock or chuck hole touching the rim. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THE TIRE COMPANIES NOT HAVE RAMPED UP PRODUCTION OF THESE TO MEET MARKET DEMAND?

While talking about the rear wheel, it is nice that you no longer have to remove the caliper when pulling the rear wheel. Just lay the bike down on the left side undo the 5 Torx bolts and off she comes, eezy-peezy. On and off is a snap, no more centering pin., no muffler to remove. It even comes off with my Meta Mule bags on the bike.

The Metal Mule panniers are amazing, the held up flawlessly for the entire ride, not any dust penetration and not any moisture, not even condensation on the muffler side as I had with my former Jesse bags, which after having used those for many years with no real issues, I would now say there is a new King of the Hill in saddle bags. The Metal Mules set a new standard for the non-sacrificial bag manufacturers to ramp up to.

The 5W40 oil can be hard to find, although I did find a single jug of it at a Walmart in Salem and did my own oil change at the rally. Surprise for some reason the drain plug is now an Allen 10 instead of an 8 as they have used for years. Of course I never had need to carry such a large key and had to do a bit of searching before I found someone who had one of these. Then I find that they are now using a larger crush washer, and I only brought extras off my 1150, so I had to reuse the old one by turning it over. There were no dealers at the rally so I did he oil change alone but not filter change. Later I found Wunderlich had a few filters in their truck so I bought a Mahle one from them for $15. The nice thing about the current placement of the filter on the side of the engine is that I was able to change the filter without affecting the oil change, I just laid the bike down on the right side jug spun the filter off and spun a new one on. Only the residual in the old filter was lost. There is also enough room there to put on a larger 1150 spec filter if you have any laying around as it will give about twice the filtering capacity.

The OEM factory crash guards leave the valve covers vulnerable, because I noticed that when laid on the bars, the valve cover is almost touching the ground. Lay the bike down on gravel and surely the cover will be holed or at least damaged. The OEM crashbars suck, recommend the really beefy Altrider bars that are just coming to market.

As Ian said the bike is certainly a highway destroyer, I rode mine in all kinds of conditions from long 800 mile days in 110F temps to knarly trails along the BDR in Washington and Oregon. The temp gauge always remained with a 3 degree celsius range of 85C. the fan would kick in on a regular basis and can be heard at idle. The heat from the rad blows back and away from the legs, so heat is a non-issue on this bike, for either the bike or the rider. The bike will cruise all day near the triple digest and not miss a beat.

I can honestly say that the rocket scientists at BMW certainly did their R&D well with this puppy. In the nearly 13,000 miles I have put on this bike in the last two months, not a singe thing, I mean NOTHING has gone wrong, missed a beat or even needs any adjustment. This is amazing for a first year production bike that has been ridden fairly hard.

Cruise control is a dream and I too found it a bit abrupt until I read the owners manual again and found out how to properly use the thing. I find that if you simply flick the cruise button back or forward one click at a time it will increase or decrease your speed in 2 km/h increments as you come upon a slower car ahead. If you hold it it will increase or decrease the speed incrementally. I think the cruise may be the best innovation on the bike.

Riding modes are there and were raved about, but frankly I don't see much of a difference. I have tried the dynamic, road, rain and enduro settings. I would save my money next time and do without those as they seem to be just a gimmick IMHO.

The OEM large BMW tank bag works very well, is waterproof and the large window will hold an iPad and even allows you to control the screen through the plastic, it has a touch compliant surface. Using the OEM tank bag never created any kill switch issues as Ian discovered. It pays to sometimes get OEM accessories as you know they will be properly designed for the bike.

The adjustable windscreen is a joke, flimsy and just waiting to be busted off. The adjustments make little to no difference for me. Again, the could have save us money by not designing such a fancy adjustment mechanism. However, the small screen itself does perform remarkable well for its size. I see no need to get an aftermarket screen.

I ordered an OEM headlight protector for the $$$ LED headlight, and that works really well, it is quick detachable clear Lexan and follows the exact angle of the shield itself. This OEM part is hard to find and the dealer will have to look hard to even find it in his list of options for the bike. Mine is the only one I have yet to see. I knew about it from being at the model unveiling at Intermot in Cologne in October. Do not get one of those metal wire ones that look cool but do nothing to prevent stones from hitting the LED glass.

The bike is too low for me. I am 6'2" tall with a 32" inseam and my 1150 GSA fit like a glove, but this bke is much lower with the stock seat, even with it at the highest setting. My feet sit flat on the ground, but my knees are bent way too much when riding. Either the pegs need to be lowered or I need a higher seat. There is a higher seat option for the bike but that will be a pricey way to go obviously. If only I had known I could have ordered the higher seat at the outset for no charge.

The rear seat and grab handle are in the way. I can't wait for Jeremy at Altrider to get his rear seat replacement rack into production so I can toss the rear seat and grab handle and properly mount my Rotopax in its place to have a proper plat mounting surface between the panniers.

A far as dealers doing the servicing, I spent $25 for 4 liters of synthetic for the bike and $15 for a filter for a total of $40 for an oil change. Although they don't like to admit it, when I pushed my dealer about warranty issues if I changed the oils myself, he said it would be no problem as long as I had receipts, so after hearing Ian's charges, I will continue to do my own service on the bike.

Lastly, and this is a big $$$ saver, the bike will run fine on regular 87 octane fuel, even mentions this as an Alternative fuel on the back page of the owners manual! In heading west along backroads, premium was a bit harder to find, so was forced to use regular grade and amazingly found that the bike ran exactly as it did on premium, no knock, no hesitation and no drop in fuel milage. I raised this with the National Service manager at the technical discussion In Salem and he said to carry on a use regular if the bike runs fine, it will not harm the bike. Apparently the Motronic has an extra anti-knock valve somewhere to compensate. So for the last 10,000 km I have been putting in regular and will continue to do so, per his advice and my experience.

So in summary, the bike is amazing, aside from a few small adjustments to suit me, the bike is dialed in from the factory and so far bullet-proof.

Bill in Canada

Visian
07-31-2013, 04:03 PM
The Tourance Next rear lasted me 18,000 km... snip

We must have extremely different riding styles.... :ha


Cruise control is a dream and I too found it a bit abrupt until I read the owners manual again and found out how to properly use the thing. I find that if you simply flick the cruise button back or forward one click at a time it will increase or decrease your speed in 2 km/h increments as you come upon a slower car ahead. If you hold it it will increase or decrease the speed incrementally.

Well, that is how all cruise controls work... it just depends on how fast you're approaching slower traffic and how long you wait before adjusting your speed (in hopes that the left-lane-bandit will move out of the way!)

Visian
07-31-2013, 04:04 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-qC5pp47/0/XL/IMG_2727-XL.jpg

Pjohnson387
07-31-2013, 10:42 PM
I just heard from friends that the August issue of BMW ON has arrived, so I better pipe up!

My riding since last posting includes:


3-day, 2700 mile ride to Oregon from Atlanta
The Aufderhide Byway
Exploration of Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area
An adventure ride along the western slope of Mt. Hood
The Blue Mountain Byway in Eastern OR
A ride out to Hat Point in Hells Canyon
Riding the Lolo Motorway



... and some putting around in northwest Montana. I am waiting for a new rear tire because with 4,700 miles, the Metzeler Tourance Next I have isn't going to make it back to Atlanta. Tires are hard to find for this bike... thank goodness I have a place to stay for free while I wait for the tire to make its way to me.

Observations

This motorcycle is a highway destroyer... it eats miles and spits them out in its wake. 900 mile days are no big drama, and the cruise control is heaven. I've finally mastered releasing the cruise without a big, unsettling change in speed.

The transmission is breaking in, as expected. There are still more than a couple of notch shifts, but the bike goes into first gear nicely in most instances now. Whatever you do, don't try to put it into first while coasting to a stop. Big grinch, every time. Shifting up from first to second is usually very quiet, and the shift from second to third is improving.

The ESA is great at adjusting to my too-heavy load. I'm carrying about 40 pounds of camera and computer gear in addition to a 4-person tent (the first tent I've ever had that I can stand up in). When loaded, I use the two-up setting. According to the manual, the two-helmet icon means two-up with luggage. I also choose the Hard setting. On pavement the bike handles without wallowing, and can pound down some pretty rough stuff without bottoming. But man, all this weight really restricts your options off-pavement.

The traction control and ABS are excellent off-pavement assists. I was really skeptical about this, and now I am a believer. As one who usually left ABS on when riding my personal bikes off-pavement, I knew that it can be useful when combined with careful, balanced F/R braking. But the ASC/ABS on the wethead is much more effective. You can crank on the gas without worrying about too much wheelspin, and can apply the brakes *hard* on gravel and come to a very short stop.

The kill switch is in a not-so-good place. When riding with a tank bag it is not hard to shut the motor down during a full-lock, hard right turn. I wish they'd left it where it was, on top of the handlebar control switch.

Off-pavement, you really notice the longer swingarm. The rear wheel follows the ground much more evenly than my 1150, with much less fore/aft pitching while riding over large-ish rocks and ledges. I *really* wish I could get a set of knobby tires for this bike for serious off-road testing.

Tires for this bike are currently hard to find. Tires from the manufacturers are really taking their time flowing into the distribution channel. In my article I promised that I'd have a review of the new Metzeler Karoo IIIs, however, they are simply not available yet in sizes that fit this bike.

The Jesse boxes rock! The mounts are very strong, I've only had a couple of low-speed tip-overs, but no tweaking at all. They hold a lot, they haven't leaked, and they are unobtrusive while mounting, dismounting or riding the bike.

.
Great write up!!!! Just an FYI, I just ordered a set of Karoo 3's from Revzilla, apparently they had them in stock? Maybe I got lucky?

Emoto
07-31-2013, 10:55 PM
Great write-up, Hooykaas!

That is outstanding tire life. What pressures did you run in them?

marchyman
07-31-2013, 11:31 PM
The OEM factory crash guards leave the valve covers vulnerable, because I noticed that when laid on the bars, the valve cover is almost touching the ground. Lay the bike down on gravel and surely the cover will be holed or at least damaged. The OEM crashbars suck, recommend the really beefy Altrider bars that are just coming to market.

I've read similar complaints about the Touratech bars. I mounted Hepco & Becker bars. I haven't had mine on its side yet so can't say for sure how the bars will hold up. Regardless, I always carry some JB Stik as part of my emergency kit.

http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/ADV/i-ZwrJMqv/0/X2/p-132041253-0711-X2.jpg

http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/ADV/i-PStRfJW/0/XL/p-132041253-0709-XL.jpg



Riding modes ar there and were raved about, but frank I don't see much of a difference. I have tried the dynamic, road, rain and enduro settings and didn't see much difference. I wold save my money next time and do without those as they seem to be just a gimmick IMHO.


Interesting. I like the modes and find they transform the bike into different machines. The throttle response between dynamic and enduro is especially noticeable. I use enduro mode on some of the local back roads. They are paved --- perhaps I should say they were once paved and have only been patched for the last decade or two. Softening the suspension, decreasing the throttle response, and allowing for a little wheel slip on the pine needle covered roadway make for a nicer ride than straight road mode. On the other hand dynamic mode is fantastic for twisties.

Visian
07-31-2013, 11:38 PM
Riding modes ar there and were raved about, but frank I don't see much of a difference. I have tried the dynamic, road, rain and enduro settings and didn't see much difference. I wold save my money next time and do without those as they seem to be just a gimmick IMHO.


Interesting. I like the modes and find they transforms the bike into different machines. The throttle response between dynamic and enduro is especially noticeable. I use enduro mode on some of the local back roads. They are paved --- perhaps I should say they were once paved and have only been patched for the last decade or two. Softening the suspension, decreasing the throttle response, and allowing for a little wheel slip on the pine needs covered roadway make for a nicer ride than straight road mode. On the other hand dynamic mode is fantastic for twisties.

I totally agree. At first I was skeptical, but after much experience, I like the way the Enduro mode reduces wheelspin under hard acceleration, as well. Enduro Pro mode lets you do well-controlled power slides.... nice!

The ABS in these modes also is far more effective than in the past. I was very impressed by how hard you could pull on the binders without losing traction.

Visian
07-31-2013, 11:45 PM
Great write up!!!! Just an FYI, I just ordered a set of Karoo 3's from Revzilla, apparently they had them in stock? Maybe I got lucky?

That must be very recent? I checked them when ordering last weekend and didn't see they were available.

Plus, I have about 2,500 miles to get home, and figured they'd be gone at that point.

I ordered a rear Tourance Next from Bike Bandit and the order, for a number of reasons, got all wrapped up in my axle. The tire will show up this Friday.

Until then, I'll be wearing out the rest of the tire I have out here in Montana. :burnout

hooykaas
07-31-2013, 11:58 PM
I run the pressure at 32 and 40 psi constantly monitored via the TPS.

FYI, Mototire/Mo-Mar in St Louis got in two Next rears yesterday. While they last.

dancogan
08-01-2013, 12:04 PM
This thread is just amazing - filled with really valuable information, hints, tips and opinions. Thanks to all of you who are already enjoying the WC GS for your thoughts! :thumb

hooykaas
08-01-2013, 12:56 PM
More than the modes, I think that rear wheel slip is more due to the instant adjustments made by the Dynamic ESA which involves a rod from the swing arm to the shock control box and another from the A-frame to the front shock control. It reacts quickly to the changing road conditions and in turn gives directions to the ABS and traction control. I think the modes actually fine tune that signal to change the reaction baseline. The ABS can be turned on and off as usual on a GS, but the traction control is new and itself is impressive indeed for those very rocky inclines... much more bit and actual power to the road.

The flapper on the muffler also seems to modify the power curve from full HP in Dynamic to more torque in Enduro Pro.

Gotta love that fabulous throaty, but mellow exhaust roar when rolling on. I find I roll the bike on harder just to hear that beautiful sound!

hooykaas
08-02-2013, 02:38 AM
Now that more companies have ramped up to supply aftermarket solutions for the new liquid cooled GS, I thought I would share some impressions of the set I looked at.41192 Interestingly the main portion of the bar that surrounds the heads is approx. 50% larger than any other bars on the market. In addition, the bar completely surrounds the upper portion of the head which has the advantage of both providing a nice hollow to stretch out your leg between the throttle body and the bar, (the OEM bars and others do not allow for this as the TB being above the barrel doesn't allow for enough space to rest the leg), and also offers additional protection for the radiators when tipped over, all in a nice compact package. 4119441195As you can see in the pictures, there is about 1 1/2" of free space--much more than OEM and TT bars for this bike. I ordered the OEM bars for the bike and liked them until I saw the demo which convinced me that they provided inadequate protection. I have ordered a set of these bars to replace my 4 month old OEM bars. Altrider says they should be rolling out of production within a month or two. To me they seem to be worth the wait. The bike represents too large of an investment to accept anything less! Anyone want my like-new OEM bars?

Additional pictures can be seen here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/88032776@N03/sets/72157634890461297/

Visian
08-02-2013, 06:30 PM
Yesterday I experimented with shifting technique and found that I can reduce clunkiness by using what is typically referred to as speed shifting. That is, pre-loading the shift lever, pulling in the clutch only partially, rolling off the throttle only partially while simultaneously shifting up. The result was remarkably improved shifting smoothness, especially in shifting up to 3rd and 4th. Downshifts were smoother, too.

Of course, this was done gently, not forcefully, and made it much easier to ride the bike smoothly in technical pavement conditions (tight twisties). A lot of road racers use this technique.

Visian
08-02-2013, 06:47 PM
Over the past couple of years, I have not been using crash bars on my HP2e, and instead going with X-head covers (http://machineartmoto.com/xhead.html). They're far, far lighter and make maintenance much easier.

I've probably dropped the bike umpteen times in all kinds of conditions and have never had a problem with scratching or cracking.

Prior to these, using Touratech bars, I had a relatively low-drama get-off and the lower section of the bar hit the spark plug under the motor, cracking the ceramic insulator and causing the engine to start missing badly.

The valve covers on these bikes are actually very strong, so strong that when I pile drivered the bike onto the asphalt when hitting a bad pavement spot, the Xhead got trashed but the valve cover didn't fracture. It did, of course, get scratched, but this was a pretty extreme get-off. Bike left the ground and impacted directly on its side.

In this photo, the entire top half of the Xhead has been broken off, which allowed the valve cover to be scratched.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Other/NC209Crash/i-N5jJVHK/0/L/IMG_2713-L.jpg

marchyman
08-09-2013, 12:23 AM
Visian,

In your ON article you said something to the effect that the brake pedal is not adjustable. I think it is. Not 100% sure which of the various ways I've found to change the height is the correct way, though. I'll post something once I know for sure.

The easiest way to raise the lever is to mount these in the low position:

http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/ADV/i-HwhdXPQ/0/O/p-132141545-0755.jpg

BMW marketing literature is incorrect regarding peg height. The pegs are a full inch lower in the low position when compared to the stock pegs. The eagle eyed will notice the lack of return springs. They are on order. I didn't realize that the springs for the stock pegs would not fit the new pegs and neglected to initially order them. Live and learn.

Those pegs plus swapping the stock brake pedal for the enduro model resulted in a brake pedal that is too high. That's why I've been playing with brake pedal adjustability.

Visian
08-09-2013, 05:03 PM
Visian,

In your ON article you said something to the effect that the brake pedal is not adjustable. I think it is. Not 100% sure which of the various ways I've found to change the height is the correct way, though. I'll post something once I know for sure.

Well, it is... but mine is adjusted as high as it will go and it could still be much higher. There's more adjustment available, but the arm of the pedal is contacting the frame piece, so it won't go higher.



http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/ADV/i-HwhdXPQ/0/O/p-132141545-0755.jpg


The range and quality of the BMW accessories is vastly improved with this model. Methinks BMW got tired of seeing thousands of dollars of aftermarket bling sales going to third parties. :nod

Visian
08-10-2013, 02:40 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-zV26pdc/0/XL/IMG_2817-XL.jpg


.

Visian
08-10-2013, 03:02 PM
Taylor Pass...

http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-4qBRk2g/0/XL/IMG_3943-XL.jpg


.

Visian
08-10-2013, 03:09 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-45TVwG3/0/XL/IMG_3966-XL.jpg

And this is with 200 pounds of crap on-board, not counting the fat-assed rider. :ha

ESA set for 2-up, hard.

.

Visian
08-10-2013, 03:11 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-WGhHcTK/0/XL/IMG_2754-XL.jpg


.

Visian
08-10-2013, 03:12 PM
http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-P332Kcd/0/XL/IMG_2765-XL.jpg


.

Visian
08-10-2013, 03:21 PM
... aka The Lolo Motorway

http://visian.smugmug.com/Category/2013GSevents/i-vzJJkg9/0/XL/IMG_3900-XL.jpg


.

dancogan
08-11-2013, 12:33 AM
Great shots, Ian. I especially like the campsite in Hell's Canyon.

71243
08-12-2013, 08:20 PM
No offence to you GS Dudes & Dudetts...but any word of a naked "R" "wet-head" in the pipe?

Visian
08-12-2013, 09:26 PM
No offence to you GS Dudes & Dudetts...but any word of a naked "R" "wet-head" in the pipe?

I hear that the next model is the RT.

In my article I wrote that RT riders would love this bike. And so will R riders. The R bike might actually be the best variant.

One answer I learned on my recent ride to Oregon and back is how the bike performs fully loaded. With my gear, cameras, computer and my fat ass, I was right at max GVWR.

The bike handled what I would call normally with the suspension set at 2-up hard. Well, Schofield Pass was my undoing! :ha

But what it does really well, even when fully loaded, is top-gear roll-ons. 65-90 mph is a matter of a few seconds, way more than enough to pass a truck going uphill while riding 2-up with some luggage.

71243
08-15-2013, 01:15 PM
I hear that the next model is the RT.

In my article I wrote that RT riders would love this bike. And so will R riders. The R bike might actually be the best variant.

One answer I learned on my recent ride to Oregon and back is how the bike performs fully loaded. With my gear, cameras, computer and my fat ass, I was right at max GVWR.

The bike handled what I would call normally with the suspension set at 2-up hard. Well, Schofield Pass was my undoing! :ha

But what it does really well, even when fully loaded, is top-gear roll-ons. 65-90 mph is a matter of a few seconds, way more than enough to pass a truck going uphill while riding 2-up with some luggage.



So then the naked "R" bike is yet another year away? 2015?....they better hurry,..I'm gettin' old...:p

marchyman
08-22-2013, 12:21 AM
For very long trips, my Mountain Sun Sherpa Tank Panniers (http://shop.mountainsuntouring.com/Sherpa-28-Litre-Tank-Panniers-Pair-MST-S28L.htm) are indispensable.

Hey Visian... any pics or suggestions on how you mounted your Mt Sun on the wethead? I've been playing with mine the last hour and don't like any of the ways I've thought of to route the front strap. Any clues would be greatly appreciated.

Marc

Emoto
08-25-2013, 06:46 PM
I suppose this belongs under Day-to-day life with...

Went out for a ride yesterday, as it was such a gorgeous day. On the new bike, natch.

About 3 or 4 miles from home, I felt a weird bump on the back wheel. Felt like I hit something small but firm, like a piece of trap rock. Uh oh.

Pulled over in a ball-field driveway and inspected the back tire. Found something steel and nearly 1/4" in diameter in the tire. Rode home gingerly.

Back in my driveway, I put it up on the centerstand to remove the object and see what's what. Without a helmet and ear plugs, I can hear the air hissing as it escapes. I pull the object and it was some kind of threaded lag bolt or something. Surprised I did not see it on the road.

http://emoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-7sHbV4s/0/L/i-7sHbV4s-L.jpg
http://emoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-cmTrkqx/0/L/i-cmTrkqx-L.jpg

3400 miles on the tire, a Metzeler Tourance Next. Still had nearly 6mm of tread. I could pull it and repair it with an internal patch plug (which I would have to buy, as well as the associated tire prep tools) but I prefer an undamaged tire.

Yay, MasterCard! :-/

The "lucky" part is that I discovered it and made it home before being 100 miles away and having it come out at high speed, which could have played out several ways that I would rather not explore. ';-)

So, now the wheel is off the bike, and the tire is off the wheel. Although I may repair the tire if I can find all the internal patch/plug stuff I like, and keep it for a spare, a new tire is on order.

FYI, I test fitted the rear wheel balancing jig I bought from Marc Parnes years ago for my 2005 R1200GS and it fits just fine; apparently BMW has not changed the wheel's bolt pattern.

Visian
08-31-2013, 01:40 PM
Hey Visian... any pics or suggestions on how you mounted your Mt Sun on the wethead? I've been playing with mine the last hour and don't like any of the ways I've thought of to route the front strap. Any clues would be greatly appreciated.

Marc

Marc - see post #s 48 and 49 in this thread. I went inside/behind the water hose on the right... But I don't have a good pic of this.

The two top straps went in front of the fuel filler, and I wound up just looping the rear straps underneath the seat.

You'll definitely want to use some wooly tubes for the strap that go over the tank, and/or some of that plastic material on the matte grey paint. I didn't and the rear strap wore through the paint on my 7500 mile ride. I did ride in a lot of dirty and dusty conditions.

The bottoms of the panniers rested just slightly on the heads, and there was no issue with hot air coming off the radiator.

Was really happy with this setup.

marchyman
08-31-2013, 05:44 PM
Thanks. I'd forgotten about what you wrote in #48. Can I blame old age? Or something else. :groovy

I did it this way last week:

Top view:
http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/MOA/i-7kV2NnC/0/O/p-132341503-3551.jpg

Rear attachment:
http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/MOA/i-jmN3mND/0/O/p-132341503-3552.jpg

Front attachment:
http://snafu.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/MOA/i-292S48r/0/O/p-132341503-3553.jpg

The blue strap at the front replaces the stock black strap which I cut during modifications I'd made to the bags to better fit my '05. On the '13 I routed that strap through some cable ties wrapped around my light bar to keep the straps away from the front forks. It worked, but I'd prefer the strap to be lower. I'll have to give the path you used a try. I take it that the strap winds up rear of where the bottom of the shock mounts to the telelever, kid of between the bottom of the telelever and the front of the engine case?

Emoto
09-02-2013, 06:49 PM
Has anyone tried higher wattage headlight bulbs? Stock is 55w. I see that 65, 70, and 100w bulbs are available. Of course, it would suck if the canbus turned off your headlights. :deal

Hammam
09-03-2013, 03:00 PM
Has anyone tried higher wattage headlight bulbs? Stock is 55w. I see that 65, 70, and 100w bulbs are available. Of course, it would suck if the canbus turned off your headlights. :deal

The instructions manual isn't very clear as to how many amps the Canbus will sustain. Is it 7,5 amps? Amps = watts divided by volts. So 100 W. divided by 12 V. = 8,3 A. Also, there may be a risk of burning the reflector inside the headlight. I wouldn't try it. But I would try the more expensive option of an HID kit, which has less power requirements (35 W.) for a much more powerful light.

Emoto
09-03-2013, 06:49 PM
The instructions manual isn't very clear as to how many amps the Canbus will sustain. Is it 7,5 amps? Amps = watts divided by volts. So 100 W. divided by 12 V. = 8,3 A. Also, there may be a risk of burning the reflector inside the headlight. I wouldn't try it. But I would try the more expensive option of an HID kit, which has less power requirements (35 W.) for a much more powerful light.

I have been looking into various auxiliary lamps, and at some point will add at least one set in a driving beam pattern, and perhaps one in a fog pattern. They will almost certainly not be the BMW ones, as I think there are better values out there. HIDs may not be a great choice either, at least for those of us in populous areas, because the HIDs like to go on and stay on, not be popped on and off quickly/frequently, as I will need to do in order to be a courteous driver.

However, having run higher wattage bulbs in a variety of headlights in a number of bikes without damage, it has been my experience so far that running a somewhat higher wattage bulb for the high beam is unlikely to cause problems, due to how long it is on, etc. I would expect that anyone running higher than standard wattage bulbs would check the housing and associated bits periodically to see if anything untoward is happening. The GS-W halogen headlight has what appears to be a glass lens, and the rest seems reasonably robust.

162127
09-25-2013, 12:12 PM
Just rode home from the US Press Launch for the new R1200GS, LA to ATL in 4 days, with plenty of backroads in between.

As I put together my thoughts for an article in BMW ON, I'd like to begin sharing impressions here, in a more timely fashion.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Other/RandomStuff/i-kdWfTDh/0/XL/JonBeck_R1200GSLC-XL.png

There really are two pieces of news here, the new motor and the new GS. So I am going to break up my comments likewise.

The new motor(cycle)

Hop on the bike and you immediately think that it's much lighter than previous models, even though it's not. Turn the key, wait for the light show to subside, thumb the starter and man, what a sweet sound! It's Ducati-esque... a nasty little bark with just the right edge.

Draw in the delightfully light-pull lever to disengage the new wet clutch and snick it (or clunk it) into first. As you release the lever, the bike moves out right now. The new throttle-by-wire system fuels the bike perfectly... not like the light-switch hyper-sensitive throttle on previous models.

Run it up through the gears, and the shifting is still, um... clunky through 3rd gear. 9 times out of 10 there is a pretty big "blonk" as you shift from Neutral into 1st. But of course, it will get better as the miles pile up. Flicking the bike from side to side reveals the benefits of a full frame... this bike steers with the same super-precision that my HP2 Enduro has. Frame stiffness is way up and it takes just the lightest hint of countersteering to make the bike change directions.

Compare to previous boxers, where it really doesn't make much sense to rev beyond 5k RPM, this motor is just getting going at 5k and pulls strongly to 8. It's redlined at 9k and the song is wonderful. You best be holding on real good.

RT riders are going to love this motor. I fully expect it to do roll-on acceleration uphill, two-up, with luggage. The motor makes power everywhere. As I rode the Angeles Crest Highway toward home, I often found myself in the tight twisties in 5th gear, with no lag in power when rolling on.

The new GS

While the latest model hex and camheads do feature ESA, ASC and ABS, these are relatively new concepts to me, and were ones I am not quite so sure of yet. The ASC's ride modes include Rain (most intrusive at eliminating wheel spin), Normal, Dynamic (allows some spin) and Enduro (allows a lot of spin in dirt). Enduro Pro is optional via a jumper in the fuse panel under the seat. I need to get the bike to my dealer to enable that. More discussion of these features later, as I get used to them.

As a contrarian, I almost never turn off ABS when riding off-pavement, finding that careful and balanced braking makes ABS useful in these riding conditions. The ABS on the new GS makes this even better, and is truly an assist when riding off-pavement.

Some general riding impressions:


Clutch is *awesome* ... a huge improvement when feathering over rough ground. IMO, this is the biggest news in off-road performance. It's that good.
Well, the longer swingarm due to shorter/reconfigured motor is pretty signficant, too.
Well, the high air intake also solves another major weakness of previous models.
Better stability in sand, thanks to wider tires (10mm in front, 20mm in rear)
The throttle-by-wire setup eliminates the lightswitch-like on/off throttle of previous models, which makes it far easier to transit over rough ground.
The footpegs are really too high, and fold your legs quite a bit. And I am only 5'8".
When riding with the balls of your feet on the pegs, my size 9.5 boot rubs on the swingarm.
Air management is very good, but I bet the adjustable windscreen will break on the first significant get-off.
Popular accessories are going to be lighting, peg lowering, radiator guards.
Cruise control is a gift from God. :nod


In closing for now, I feel that BMW looked very close at the Ducati Multistrada in setting this bike's tone. While the bike doesn't have quite the horsepower of the Ducati, it has puh-lenty of power and is much MUCH better off-pavement.

http://visian.smugmug.com/Other/RandomStuff/i-P7n44T2/0/XL/IMG_0744-XL.jpg
Heading toward home on the Angeles Crest Highway. Jeez, the air pollution in LA is bad!

More to come... I look forward to your questions and comments, too.

I guess the title should have been "As long as it works!" My cruise control has been malfunctioning almost since the day I got it. Taking it in this morning for the initial service, hope they can determine the cause. Also, agree with you about the pegs. Just bought and installed a new set of pegs from TwistedThrottle. A bit pricey, but oh so nice... P.S., I have a Grey one just like yours; beautiful color...

162127
09-25-2013, 12:21 PM
Hooray... BMW has finally figured out that consistently-sized fasteners of the same type (e.g. torx vs allen) make life much easier when doing simple maintenance.

Interestingly, on the R12GSW, it's now easy to get to the battery and hard(ish) to get at the air filter... the exact reverse of my 1150GS.

The battery takes under 30 seconds to get at, and most of that time is spent opening your tools and finding the write torx tool. And there's even a small post for accessing the positive terminal (which is located inboard, relative to ground) so that jump starting is a cinch. Big auto jumper cable connectors are probably not going to fit in there, though.

The air box/filter is a bit more fussy... 5 screws to remove the center panel on top of the fuel tank, and another 4 to remove the air box cover. At least the same torx tool can be used. With the forward facing air intakes, I see a future with many bugs sitting on top of the air filter, so perhaps some foam filter inserts are in order. I use these on my 1150 and HP2.

For garage work, a set of t-handle torx drivers with long reach look to be a good investment. Might even get some for the road tool kit, since they're so much easier to work with than what comes in the stock tool kit.

Oil filter change is a snap, since it is side mounted. You don't even have to remove the skid plate.

However, you do need to remove the skid plate to drain the oil, but a judiciously drilled hole would fix that. The plate is held on with five bolts of the same size... what a concept! (I do see the need for an aftermarket skidplate if your riding demands something fairly sturdy. The mounting could use a little beef-up, too).

Of course, BMW doesn't actually tell you how to drain the oil from the bike... great. Can't wait for a Haynes manual. Has anyone seen work of a factory shop manual?


Here is one of the handiest tools I have, keep it in my rear bag all the time. Well worth the money...
From Amazon.com: Proxxon 23954 8-Piece Pocket TORX Key Set

Emoto
09-25-2013, 12:22 PM
I guess the title should have been "As long as it works!" My cruise control has been malfunctioning almost since the day I got it. Taking it in this morning for the initial service, hope they can determine the cause. Also, agree with you about the pegs. Just bought and installed a new set of pegs from TwistedThrottle. A bit pricey, but oh so nice... P.S., I have a Grey one just like yours; beautiful color...

A number of people have had issues with the cruise control, and from what I have read on various forums, the fix is usually to replace the left side handlebar switch cluster.

marchyman
09-25-2013, 06:52 PM
I've recently noticed that mine is acting up. A left had cluster replacement may be in my future. Of course the issue comes and goes; it may be hard to demonstrate the problem. The set/resume lever sometimes does the wrong thing when pulled toward me. When cruise is active pulling the lever will sometimes deactivate cruise instead of reducing the set speed. When cruise is inactive pulling the lever sometimes does nothing instead of resuming at the previous set speed. When the lever starts doing the wrong thing sliding the switch to the off position and then back on will restore proper function for a while.

I'll mention it to the dealer service department next time I'm there.

Weasel
09-25-2013, 08:19 PM
That was exactly the problem with my '10 RT. After they replaced the whole cruise control unit, they went back and replaced the handlebar switch cluster. That was the 3rd time they replaced the switch (for other reasons not associated with the cruise) and, finally, I got a "good" switch. I traded that bike in on a new '11, and, now the same switch is acting up in the form of not manually cancelling when the button is pushed - sometimes. Based on previous posts in this thread, I do believe it is heat related (turn signal problem) and will suggest that they heat up the switch with a hair dryer to see if they can duplicate the problem.